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Thursday, February 2, 2017

HOW TO BUILD YOUR BODY LIKE A PROFESSIONAL ROAD CYCLIST

It’s time to face facts: you’ll more likely to see a Brit pedal to another Tour de France victory than Wayne Rooney ever lifting the World Cup. Why? Maybe because we Brits have finally realised road racing is the perfect way to burn excess blubber, pack explosive pins and cut a defined core.
Whatever the reason, life in the saddle has given Britain a series of Olympic golds, Time Trial Championship wins and World Records. But the Tour of Britain? Well, that title’s normally swept up by cyclists beyond our shores. Cyclists like the 2012 winner Nathan Haas. We spoke to him to find out how to turn your body into a Tour de Force.

How demanding is your training schedule?

To build up strength, I head to the gym three times a week for two hours at a time. My workouts are all about one thing: cross training. I use squats, deadlifts and single leg presses to make sure my workouts are geared towards building strength in my back and lower body. Plyometric work is also vital to keep an element of speed and muscle elasticity to what I am doing. 

What’s your best workout tip?

Be creative with your environment. If you’re working out at home then use the stairs from step-ups, a power cord for skipping and even a 50kg roommate as a weight bar (it’s probably best to ask them beforehand). Being adaptive to where you are is a must if you want to achieve your training goals on the go.

What nutrition is essential to a road racing cyclist?

My pre-race diet revolves around protein; complex carbs and avoiding refined sugars. Afterwards, if I’m in the middle of a stage race like the Tour de France, overeating is major big danger. I have to live by the motto “eat today for tomorrow”, which means eating enough carbs and protein to give me the energy for the next stage, but not so much that I put on weight.

What supplements do you take?

I don't take supplements. I make sure my meals have all the nutrients and protein I need, which yes, is possible if you eat a clean diet.

What’s your body’s biggest weakness?

Keeping my weight down. Even if my body fat is 5%, I can often be 2-3 kgs overweight a week or two before a race due to too much muscle bulk. If that happens then I ride for hours after each gym session to stop growth of my larger muscles.

How much sleep do you get a night?

At least 8 hours, but also I also nap for an hour after training. It sounds odd, but as soon as I started doing that I saw my physical and mental health drastically improve – it changed everything for me. I can’t recommend it enough.

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